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MAY 12. EASTER. Wk 6. Wed. Jn. 16. 12-15

Updated: Sep 5

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I still have many things to say to you

but they would be too much for you now.

But when the Spirit of truth comes

he will lead you to the complete truth,

since he will not be speaking as from himself

but will say only what he has learnt;

and he will tell you of the things to come.

He will glorify me,

since all he tells you

will be taken from what is mine.

Everything the Father has is mine;

that is why I said:

All he tells you

will be taken from what is mine.’


Jesus begins this text with a very unusual statement, namely: “I still have many things to say to you; - but they would be too much for you now” but it begins to make sense when you look at what he says immediately afterwards; - “but when the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you to the complete truth!”


What this shows is the intimacy between Christ and the Holy Spirit when it comes to enlightening and guiding us. Christ is telling us here that he is not yet finished with teaching his disciples; - but that this role will be taken over by the Holy Spirit after he has left them.


And is this not how we learn, even today? We read the scriptures year after year, but then suddenly one day we find what we have read multiple times before, suddenly has a new meaning; - one in which the Holy Spirit has enlightened us, and we are now able to “see” a meaning in the text that has previously remained unknown?


This is one of the benefits of knowing the Holy Spirit, and being aware of his presence as we are able to be alert to his guidance and to give thanks for it. When we read the Gospels we are reading a document that is two thousand years old, but when we read it with an awareness of the Holy Spirit it is as fresh as if it was written for us today!


Another truth we are conscious of is the fact there is so much wisdom within scripture we have yet to understand as it remains hidden. This is because the Gospels come from God, and we are his creatures. This means we do not have the ability to absorb or comprehend the hidden meanings within scripture without the aid of the Holy Spirit.


And it is this help and guidance Christ is promising to his followers in today’s reading and we should be eternally grateful for having the Holy Spirit to guide and enlighten us. We have all had experiences where we know God’s spirit has “spoken” to us, and there is no doubt in our mind about this fact.


Sometimes it will be clear when reading scripture, while at other times it will involve being enlightened about what God wants us to do, or how he wants us to behave.


Gospel Acclamation Jn14:16


Alleluia, alleluia!

The Father will send you the Holy Spirit, says the Lord,

to be with you for ever.

Alleluia!


First reading Acts 17:15,22-18:1

I proclaim the God you already worship without knowing it


Paul’s escort took him as far as Athens, and went back with instructions for Silas and Timothy to rejoin Paul as soon as they could.


So Paul stood before the whole Council of the Areopagus and made this speech:


‘Men of Athens, I have seen for myself how extremely scrupulous you are in all religious matters, because I noticed, as I strolled round admiring your sacred monuments, that you had an altar inscribed: To An Unknown God. Well, the God whom I proclaim is in fact the one whom you already worship without knowing it.


‘Since the God who made the world and everything in it is himself Lord of heaven and earth, he does not make his home in shrines made by human hands. Nor is he dependent on anything that human hands can do for him, since he can never be in need of anything; on the contrary, it is he who gives everything – including life and breath – to everyone. From one single stock he not only created the whole human race so that they could occupy the entire earth, but he decreed how long each nation should flourish and what the boundaries of its territory should be. And he did this so that all nations might seek the deity and, by feeling their way towards him, succeed in finding him. Yet in fact he is not far from any of us, since it is in him that we live, and move, and exist, as indeed some of your own writers have said:


“We are all his children.”


‘Since we are the children of God, we have no excuse for thinking that the deity looks like anything in gold, silver or stone that has been carved and designed by a man.


‘God overlooked that sort of thing when men were ignorant, but now he is telling everyone everywhere that they must repent, because he has fixed a day when the whole world will be judged, and judged in righteousness, and he has appointed a man to be the judge. And God has publicly proved this by raising this man from the dead.’


At this mention of rising from the dead, some of them burst out laughing; others said, ‘We would like to hear you talk about this again.’ After that Paul left them, but there were some who attached themselves to him and became believers, among them Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman called Damaris, and others besides.


After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.







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